Malham had a very old and great reputation for its cattle and sheep
fairs. Cattle fairs were held on Great Close, Malham Moor in the 18th
Century, which by the mid 19th century had been replaced by the sheep
fairs with as many as 8,000 head exhibited on a single day. There were
three annual sheep sales or fairs; the first for lambs on June 30th, the second
for lambs on the second Thursday in August and the third for sheep on
October 15th. On the left you can see one such sheep fair in about 1900.
The Nineteen Hundreds Malhamdale
Show has its origins in a meeting held at Airton on 22nd May 1907. The
proceedings are briefly recorded in the minute book held in the Craven
Museum, Skipton, and reads:
"It was agreed that the inhabitants of Kirkby Malhamdale do
arrange to hold a Show and Gala and that the association for the purpose
be formed. Mr. T. Edmondson proposed and Mr. Beck seconded the proposal
that Mr. D. Carradice be Secretary of the association - carried. A second
meeting was held on 28th May 1907 when It was agreed that a committee
be formed consisting of all members who subscribe half a crown to the
funds of the Association."
The following officials were elected:
President - Mr J W Morkill of Newfield Hall
Vice-presidents - Walter Morrison Esq. J P, Mr H G Tunstill, Mr W Proctor,
Mr J Hammond, Mr L Serjeantson
Four sections were proposed for the Show, namely, Horticulture, Agriculture,
Poultry and Afternoon Attractions, although poultry was dropped at
a subsequent meeting. It was agreed that the show would be held on the
third Saturday of August. The first show was held on Saturday August 24th
1907 at Airton in "the croft against Mr Simpson's".
At a subsequent meeting on August 9th 1907, Mr. Carradice, the secretary,
was asked to supply refreshments "with this condition - that
the bandsmen be given a good meal at sixpence each and that Mr. Parker
be requested to bring 3 boxes of aerated waters for the band."